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Report on the Audit of Three Supported Child Care Agencies severed audit

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28 pages
File No.: 3973Report on the Audit of Three Supported Child Care AgenciesMinistry of Children and Family DevelopmentDistributionDeputy Minister C. HaynesAssistant Deputy MinisterManagement Services L. FosterRegional Executive DirectorCapital Region J. CowellVancouver/Richmond Region F. MilowskyRegional Executive DirectorUpper Fraser Region L. BoonDirectorOperational Review and Audit J. MackintoshA/DirectorChildren and Youth with Special Needs R. MjolsnessInternal Audit & Advisory ServicesMinistry of FinanceOffice of the Comptroller GeneralDate of fieldwork completion: August 2001Table of ContentsSection Page No.Glossary.......................................................................................................iExecutive Summary...................................................................................1Introduction ................................................................................................3Purpose3Scope ..........................................................................................................3Audit Approach ..........................................................................................4Comments and Recommendations ..........................................................61.0 Agency Reimbursements ......................................................................... 61.1 Protection services contract....................................................................... ...
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File No.: 3973
Report on the Audit of Three Supported Child  Care Agencies
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Distribution Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister Management Services Regional Executive Director Capital Region Regional Executive Director Vancouver/Richmond Region Regional Executive Director Upper Fraser Region Director Operational Review and Audit A/Director Children and Youth with Special Needs
Internal Audit & Advisory Services Ministry of Finance Office of the Comptroller General
Date of fieldwork completion: August 2001
C. Hayne L. Foste J. Cowell F. Milowsk L. Boon
J. Mackintosh R. Mjolsnes
Table of Contents Section
Page No.
Glossary....................................................................................................... i Executive Summary ................................................................................... 1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 3 Purpose....................................................................................................... 3 Scope .......................................................................................................... 3 Audit Approach .......................................................................................... 4 Comments and Recommendations .......................................................... 6 1.0 Agency Reimbursements ......................................................................... 6 1.1 Protection services contract .............................................................................. 6 1.2 Over-funding agencies ...................................................................................... 7 1.3 Child-specific contracts ..................................................................................... 9 1.4 Contract modifications .................................................................................... 10
2.0 Matching Funding to Attendance .......................................................... 10 2.1 Attendance records ......................................................................................... 11
3.0 Funded at Appropriate Rates ................................................................. 12 3.1 Determination of support levels....................................................................... 13 3.2 Allowable costs ............................................................................................... 14
4.0 SCC Agency Staffing .............................................................................. 14 4.1 Staff levels ...................................................................................................... 15 4.2 Staff qualifications ........................................................................................... 15
5.0 Service Levels ......................................................................................... 16 5.1 Contract service requirements ........................................................................ 17 5.2 Worker-to-child ratio........................................................................................ 18
6.0 Additional Issues Identified During Fieldwork ..................................... 19 6.1 Contractual reporting requirements................................................................. 19 6.2 Purchase of equipment ................................................................................... 21
Glossary
Authorization payments
CCNH
CCP CDCCS CRC FAP MCF or the ministry MHR Range 2 support level
Range 3 support level
Range payments
SCC SN the division VIKKCS
Payments to contractors under a ministry-prescribed form "Authorization for Child Care Subsidy" Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House -a child care facility within the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of Greater Vancouver Compensation Contribution Plan Chilliwack Developmental Children's Centre Society Criminal Records Check Funding Assistance Program The Ministry of Children and Family Development Ministry of Human Resources Training, support, consultation and short term or intermittent additional staffing (frequent support) Training, support, consultation and significant and/or ongoing additional staffing (ongoing support) Payments to child care service providers to cover the cost of extra support staff for children with special needs. Supported Child Care special needs Early Childhood Development and Community Living Services Division Vancouver Island Kids Klub Centre Society
Report on Supported Child Care Agencies  i
Executive Summary
Overall Conclusion
Agency Reimbursements
Staffing
The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCF or the ministry) is responsible for the Supported Child Care (SCC) program which provides services to about 6,000 special needs (SN) children across BC. The program pays for extra resources for the child such as consultation, staff training or extra staff, at no cost to parents. We reviewed funding and SN staffing levels at three child care agencies to assess whether issues identified in an earlier audit were isolated or systemic. The agencies selected were from three separate regions, and all received SCC funding through both contract and authorization payments. Overall, based on the findings we have from the three agencies, the issues identified in the earlier audit do not appear to be symptomatic of a more widespread problem. Although we identified staffing and funding related issues in both audits, the nature of the issues was dissimilar. We found minor occurrences of over-funding SN children and SN agency staff. The over-funding of SN children was caused by duplicate funding from the Child Protection Program and errors in authorization payments related to the implementation of the Funding Assistance Program. The over-funding of SN agency staff resulted from one agency using funding from the Compensation Contribution Plan (CCP) to increase the wages of SN workers funded by MCF. The funding for CCP is provided by Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) to supplement the wages of eligible staff at child care facilities. However, wages of SN workers funded under MCF authorizations or contracts are ineligible. Where contracts specified SN staff to child ratios, and agency records were sufficient to determine ratios, we found that all agencies exceeded contracted SN staffing requirements during the periods reviewed. Although the ministry paid for higher staff ratios than contracted levels, we were provided with logical explanations such as child absences, SN staff training and administrative requirements.
Report on Supported Child Care Agencies  1
Additional Issues Identified During Fieldwork
At present, the Early Childhood Development and Community Living Services Division (the division) does not maintain provincial statistics on worker-to-child ratios. We have recommended that a baseline be established to assist in identifying agencies providing levels of service higher or lower than contracted levels. Certain issues were identified during the course of our fieldwork that were outside of the original scope of this audit's terms of reference, but merit the ministry's attention. For example, we found that:  the division and the regions are not receiving sufficient reporting information from SCC agencies, nor monitoring closely enough to determine if services paid for are being delivered. Reporting by the agency and monitoring by the regions is crucial to ensuring the funding and related agency staffing levels are consistent with care plans and contracted levels; and  one agency used a $172,000 surplus from its SCC program to assist with the purchase of a new child care facility without the knowledge of the region. None of the three agencies reviewed were asked for or submitted a copy of their external financial statements to the regions, which in this case, would have identified surplus SCC funds. This report contains detailed comments and recommendations to enhance the accountability of these specific agencies and the SCC program, and to assist the division and regions improve their management and administration of SCC contract and authorization processes. We would like to express our appreciation to the management and staff at the ministry and the selected agencies for their assistance during the audit.
2  Report on Supported Child Care Agencies
David J. Fairbotham Executive Director Internal Audit & Advisory Services June 24, 2002
Introduction
Purpose
Scope
The Ministry of Children and Family Development is responsible for the Supported Child Care program and for delivery of SCC services at the local level. This program funds services to about 6,000 children across BC. The program's goal is to ensure children with special needs are able to participate in "typical" community child care settings. The ministry pays for extra resources needed for the child such as consultation, staff training or extra staff, at no cost to parents. Throughout BC, each community decides how it will deliver SCC services and refines child care options based upon the needs of the population. The ministry provides funding by contract and child care subsidy authorizations (authorizations) to various organizations under the SCC program to deliver child care services and pay for extra staffing for the SN children. For fiscal 2001, Supported Child Care contract payments were approximately $19 million and authorizations were $12 million. There are approximately 100 agencies that received contract payments and 60 agencies that received both SCC contract and authorization payments.
The purpose of the audit was to review funding and staffing processes in selected contracted child care agencies to assess whether issues identified in an earlier audit (New Westminster Child Development Centre Ltd.) are isolated or systemic.
We examined the current and prior fiscal period transactions for the selected agencies to provide assurance that:  the agencies are not reimbursed for the same child twice for the same services in the same period (for both contracts and authorizations);  the agencies are funded only for the number of children that are actually receiving services;
Report on Supported Child Care Agencies  3
Audit Approach
 the agencies are funded for providing services to SN children at rates within policy guidelines;  the agencies are providing the required number of qualified child care staff and supervisors in compliance with ministry policies or licence requirements; and  the agencies are providing child care services to the number of SN children of each range level for the number of hours and days for which funding was paid.
In consultation with senior ministry management, the following three agencies were selected for review. The selection was based on a number of factors including funding levels, types of services provided and regional representation. Vancouver Island Kids Klub Centre Society - Victoria (Capital) region. The agency receives approximately $15,000 per month under SCC contract funding, and $15,000 to $22,000 in authorization payments per month. Chilliwack Developmental Children's Centre - Upper Fraser region. The agency receives approximately $20,000 per month by SCC contract payments, and monthly authorizations ranging from approximately $5,000 to $11,500. Association of Neighbourhood Houses of Greater Vancouver -Vancouver/ Richmond region. The agency receives approximately $5,300 in SCC contract payments per month and averages approximately $16,000 in authorization payments per month. Specifically our audit steps included:  examining the agencies contracts, financial books, records and statements, personnel files, and records of attendance of children and staff, for the current and prior fiscal period;  interviewing the agencies owners/managers and staff, and ministry staff;
4  Report on Supported Child Care Agencies
 
 
accessing data from the Corporate Accounting System and the Social Workers Management Information System; and
reviewing applicable licensing requirements and ministry policy.
Report on Supported Child Care Agencies  5
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